CV Zuilhof

Personal : dr. Han Zuilhof

(May 21, 1965; Sassenheim, The Netherlands). Nationality: Dutch.


1) Chemistry, M.Sc. Leiden University
Date degree: June 30, 1988 (cum laude).
Main subject: Organic Chemistry; advisor: dr. Gerrit Lodder.
2) Philosophy, M. A., Leiden University
Date degree: September 13, 1994 (cum laude).
Main subject: Logic & Theory of Knowledge; advisor: prof. Herman Philipse.
[I can advise all young scientists to do something ‘completely different’ when they are studying; it was great to add this to my intellectual baggage, even if only because of the historical dimension that is abundantly present in philosophy, but near-absent in chemistry.]


Leiden University, April 13, 1994 (cum laude)
Supervisor (‘Promotor’): prof. dr. J. Cornelisse
Title of thesis: Weakening of chemical bonds by electrons and photons

Since then:

  • 1994‑1996: Reactivity of cyclopropane radical cations: synthesis, product analysis, time-resolved spectroscopy and computational studies; fixed-term post-doc with professor J.P. Dinnocenzo and professor S. Shaik (University of Rochester, Rochester NY, USA).  1996‑1997: Photoreactivity of rhodium and iridium complexes towards DNA; fixed-term post-doc with professor N. J. Turro and professor J. K. Barton (Columbia University, New York, NY, USA).
  • 1997‑2004: Assistant professor of Organic Chemistry at Wageningen University
  • 2004-2007: Associate professor of Organic Chemistry at Wageningen University
  • 2007: Personal chair of Organic Chemistry at Wageningen University
  • 2008‑present: Chair of Organic Chemistry at Wageningen University

In 2002 I enjoyed a sabbatical leave in the labs of prof. Keiji Morokuma at Emory University (Atlanta, USA), the founding father of ONIOM computations.  In 2003 this was followed by an equally enjoyable sabbatical leave at the National Research Council (Ottawa, Canada) in the labs of dr. Dan Wayner, a ‘friendly competitor’ in the field of silicon modification with great expertise in electrochemistry and scanning probe techniques.  As a third sabbatical leave I have spent the Spring of 2007 at Stanford University in the groups of professors Stacey Bent (Chemical Engineering) and Chris Chidsey (Chemistry).

Since 2000 I have obtained > 5.0 million Euros in research funding, for funding of graduate students, postdocs and a set of state-of-the-art equipment for the preparation and characterization of surfaces.  These include a time-resolved picosecond fluorescence set-up, two AFM/STM machines and a bio-XPS that allows X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy on biological samples.  
The results of this research have been published in ~100 scientific papers.  Twelve of these rank in the top-1% in regard of citations, and one even in the top 0.1%.  This work has also lead to 6 patents. Chemistry has never been an ‘ivory tower’ discipline; I sincerely believe that top science in this area always is also science for impact.

Highlights 2008: Acceptance of paper on functionalized Si nanoparticles in Small (impact factor 7), and designation of paper on synthesis of solar cell dyes in Chemistry. A European Journal (impact factor 5) as ‘Very Important Paper’ (regarded as top-1% paper by the journal).

Scientific interest: active organic surfaces, organic solar cells, bionanotechnology.